AmpSurf, a local nonprofit that works with people with disabilities and their families by integrating adaptive surf therapy, is teaming up with the Women's Veterans Surf Project for a surf clinic.
Over the course of the weekend, the nine women who are either active military or veterans will use ocean therapy to work through various traumas, such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and combat-related trauma. Participants who spoke with KSBY say this program has been a beneficial and therapeutic way to address those traumas they experienced while in the military.
"Finding community, trying to find recreational therapy, cause surfing has been the only thing I have found that has helped, or the first time I have found camaraderie," Jasmine Bishop, a veteran of the United States Marine Corps said.
This is the first time AmpSurf and Women's Veterans Surf Project have teamed up for this event, and the goal is to be able to eventually reach and serve female veterans from around the world.
"The hope is to gain efficacy, do peer review studies, I think there's like 30 out there right now, and to get it to where insurance companies will recognize, oh this is awesome, it really helps, it really works," Karen Evans, the co-founder of Women's Veterans Surf Project said.
Evans says camaraderie is the message for this clinic.
"Personally, I think being outside, and for us, involving the body and healing our bodies, remembering everything and our brains just try to figure out 'why is this happening right now?'"
It's how Amanda Martin, an active member of the United States Air Force, is working on her self-healing.
"This has been amazing," Martin said. "It's been a way for me to give back to support my sisters, to meet other women, and then this is a great opportunity with the Women Veterans Surf Project to help get the services as well, to help fuel me, to fill my cup back up."
Evans says there is a need for more resources for women in the military, especially when it comes to military-related sexual trauma, combat-related trauma, and raising children in the military.
"We have a different need than the males, and a different need than civilian women, though we relate to both really well," Evans said.
Dana Cummings, the founder of AmpSurf says the organization is always in need of instructors. Instructors assist participants by getting in the water with them during the clinics. For details on how to get involved, click here.